With nearly 1 billion monthly users actively swiping on TikTok, and nearly 10 million Canadians on the platform, TikTok has become the social media app du jour for fame and for making money. And that doesn’t just go for individual users; the same is for companies.
The marketing space has long since transitioned to a digital marketplace but has evolved since the creation of TikTok. TikTok has opened up a new era of digital marketing involving short-form content and trendy videos.
Utilizing TikTok properly can yield drastic results for the entrepreneur, small business owner, influencer, or anyone looking to reach an audience. TikTok is growing rapidly and is not a boat that you want to miss!
This is how I made money on TikTok. If I can do it, so can you.
If you like Hardbacon, they are on TikTok! Their account is Hardbaconapp.
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How to grow on TikTok
- Post as often as you can, but do not exceed 10x per day. Ideally, post 3 to 10x daily
- Create engaging hooks and always have a call to action at the end
- Listen to what your analytics are telling you so you can optimize your content.
How to monetize your TikTok content:
- Utilize creator marketplace
- Find sponsors for paid ads
- Use affiliate links for additional income
- Accrue tips from your followers
- Join the Shopify Collab (when it becomes available).
Again, it is all about the algorithm
For those who are skeptical of the power of TikTok, this is what can happen if you utilize the algorithm to your advantage. Below is a screenshot of my personal growth on TikTok over 60 days, resulting in the growth of 1.3 million followers in the horror niche.
My story on TikTok
As a social media influencer of 8 years, it was a big shock to the system to see how quickly TikTok took over the social media space. With that, I noticed that the content around social media was morphing into shorter and shorter-form videos. Eventually, I switched from Instagram and Snapchat to move full-time into TikTok.
My results? I grew about 4 million followers in 12 months and made six figures. My largest account is listed below:
Over the last 12 months, I used trial and error to find the most effective ways to grow and monetize on TikTok. I followed a fundamental formula, which I still use to this day, to get to where I am right now. I will go in-depth on each aspect below, but I followed this method:
How to crow Your TikTok
Understanding how to grow on TikTok is a skill that requires an equal understanding of the creative and analytical aspects that go into making the ideal video. If you can utilize the viral guide below, you will understand precisely what it takes to go viral.
While the following strategies are universal to all, it is crucial to test out anything and everything. TikTok is an everchanging platform that may require tweaks depending on algorithmic updates or unique niches.
Understanding the basics of TikTok posting
The number one thing that creators don’t understand is how often they should be posting. When it comes to TikTok, you must consistently push out mass amounts of content.
If you can post 3-10 times per day on TikTok, you’ll set yourself up for 3-10 opportunities each day to go viral. The majority of TikTok creators only post a couple of times a week. If you post ten times per day, that’s 100-300 opportunities to go viral per month. This gives you an exponential advantage over other creators who may only get 8-16 opportunities to go viral per month because they choose to post every couple of days.
How to maximize your content
Now you’re probably wondering, “3 to10 posts a day? Really? That’s impossible.” It doesn’t have to be complicated; you simply need to think outside the box.
If you are thinking about uploading a piece of content, here is how you can turn one piece of content into multiple:
- Create a part 2, part 3, etc. for the content: Turn one video into multiple.
- Create video response content: This is recommended if someone comments a question on your video, says something interesting about it, or says anything you deem fit for a response.
- Follow trends: Keep up with the latest trends and re-enact them. Multiple new trends come out on TikTok daily, and they are all free content ideas.
- Find what people want: If you created a video in your niche that got a lot of buzz, figure out what specific topic in that video attracted viewers. Recreate that video without it being identical, and repeat it as many times as possible.
The analytics of a viral video on TikTok
While creating engaging, creative content will always be the most important thing, you need to look at the analytics on each video. Each metric tells you a story about why your post performed how it did.
The number one metric that carries importance is watch time. TikTok wants to see that users actually watch through your content because when users watch content, it keeps them on the app and keeps TikTok paid. Other factors come into play as well.
As your video gets longer, less people will watch the entire video. However, generally speaking, you want at least 40% of viewers to be completing your video. If they’re not, you need to re-evaluate your videos or try shorter-form content to see if this changes its efficacy.
Like and share ratios
This will also tell you if you are producing quality content. For every 10,000 views, you should be getting 500 to 1,000 likes and 5 to10 video shares.
If you are missing these metrics, these will also impact going viral. Watch time is king, but this will help too.
What creative aspects go into a viral video
Creating a viral video does NOT have to be as hard as you make it out to be. There are a few basic formulas to follow, but this is my preferred strategy.
Always start with a hook. When someone sees your video, you’ll have about 1 to 2 seconds to grab their attention. Start with an eye-catching hook to get the viewer sucked in.
Second, you must create a call to action (CTA) at the end of every video. Depending on the goal of the video, always be sure that you either speak or have text on your video prompting your viewers to follow you, buy your product, or convert however you desire.
How to create a strong hook
There are a few ways to do this. The easiest way is to follow a trend because viewers will already be familiar with it and feel inclined to watch your version.
Another way is to evoke an immediate emotion from the viewer. This can be done by having large text on your screen, using shocked facial expressions, talking with emphasis, or making a big statement immediately. Below are fantastic explanations and examples of a good hook/creative.
@abstractstudios.wcs How to Create a Hook #videographers #videographytips #filmmaking #filmmakers #filmtok #filmmakingtips #contentstrategytips #contentcreation #tutorial #contentcreators #contentcreationtips #videohooks ♬ Rocking A Cardigan in Atlanta – lil Shordie Scott
Remember, don’t make Ads… make TikToks!🔥 #tiktokadsmanager #tiktokadstips #marketingagency #tiktokagency #smallbiztips #smallbiztiktokideas♬ original sound – Ian Asher
How to create content within your niche:
Research, compare, and optimize. Look at competitors in your niche, see what is working, and use that to brainstorm ways to improve your content and film new ideas.
The most rfficient way to find TikTok trends
Finding TikTok trends may leave you scrolling through your For You Page (FYP) for hours in search of the newest trend. Scroll no more; there are much more efficient ways for the long run.
On TikTok, tons of accounts are specifically out there to bring you tips on what is currently trending and what to post to go viral. If you can gather a spreadsheet of as many of these accounts as possible, you can simply go through that list daily to see what’s new.
To find them, go to your search bar and look up phrases such as: New Trend Alert, Use This Sound to Grow, Trending Sound Alert, etc. Go to top, filter the posts to the last week, and then look through what each growth strategist recommends for the week.
How to monetize your TikTok
Live gifts are an excellent way to monetize your TikTok and grow your fanbase simultaneously. Once your account hits 1,000 followers, TikTok allows you to go live whenever you want.
You will also need to turn on live gifts via your settings if you would like to monetize this feature. To start a live stream, click the same button you’d click to take a video, then scroll to the far left.
You can choose to live stream from your camera or do a mobile-gaming live stream. TikTok may push your account to the For You Page where viewers who do not follow you can see your account for the first time!
The only drawback is that TikTok will take 50% of your gift earnings. To counter this, many users will include a Paypal link in their bio and ask users to gift them there instead.
Understanding the power of affiliate links can be a game-changing factor for an influencer who does not own a business or product but still wants to sell one. For those who don’t know, affiliate programs are a simple agreement between a user and a business/individual, allowing the influencer to take a percentage of the conversions they generate.
Affiliate links can drive conversions of all sorts, such as app downloads, website clicks, product purchases, and much more. In return, the company can pay the influencer a percentage of the profits, sales, or a fixed rate per conversion.
Affiliate links are a form of monetization that should not be ignored. They provide an easy way to instantly start monetizing your account without going through the complicated process of creating an actual product or service.
Better yet, you may be able to promote multiple affiliate links at once. Oftentimes influencers will use a service such as Linktree to create a landing page allowing multiple affiliate links to be placed in one location to maximize profits.
One important thing is to make sure that the affiliate you are promoting is relevant to your niche. For example, if you are in the pet niche, you probably shouldn’t be promoting something random like a beauty product. Find an affiliate product you could see your audience buying, and show your audience how it can help them.
I found an affiliate link, now what?
Promoting your affiliate link can be done in numerous ways, depending on your style. Content can be promoted through live videos, feed posts, story posts, or in the comment section of each post.
Live Videos: Go live on TikTok and showcase/demonstrate the product or service that you are using. Explain how it works and tell people they can find it on the link in your bio.
Feed Posts/Story Posts: Create engaging content and mention/showcase the product or service that you are promoting. In the end, add a call to action (CTA) telling people they can find this on the link in your bio.
Comment Section Promotion: Create standard content not mentioning the product/service in the video but mentioning it in the comment section or caption. For example, if you are promoting a jacket, create a piece of unrelated content, but in this video, you are wearing the jacket. In the comment section, write something such as “You can find the jacket I was wearing on the link in my bio!” You would then pin this comment.
Marketing your business
If you own a business, TikTok is the place to market it. Creating TikTok ads can be done organically or can be sponsored.
If you register your business as a business account, you can put an email address in your bio. This way people or businesses can email you any propositions or collaborations.
The important thing to know is that the content should stay the same whether you are promoting your business or organically marketing your business. When you are marketing your business, the best ad is an ad that looks like it isn’t one.
You can create engaging content that follows the latest trends and subtly slips in your product, or you can respond to questions about your product and post those videos. The most important thing is to always have an attention-grabbing hook to lock the viewer in, then subtly introduce your business without being too ad-like.
If you are wanting to start a marketable TikTok business but are unsure of what to do, think outside the box for creative ideas. Finding simple side hustles can always help you start things off.
Who doesn’t love getting free tips, right? Within TikTok’s settings, you may turn on video gifts and tips.
The gifting feature allows a user to see your video and send a gift to your account from that clip. Similarly, tips allow users to see your profile and send a gift to your account. The main difference between the two is the following:
Video gifts: Payments are TikTok gifts added to your account balance. The user cannot use a credit card to tip you directly.They must purchase a TikTok gift, select one of your videos, and send the tip there.
Tips: Payments go through Stripe and are added to your tips balance. The user may be through a credit card rather than a TikTok gift.
The requirements for both are the same. You must have at least 100,000 followers, and your account must be 30 days old. If you meet the requirement, your account will be automatically accepted into having access to this feature without waiting for an application process.
Sponsored content can come in two forms and is a great way to create long-term relationships with brands you believe in. With sponsored content, brands may reach out to you asking if you would be willing to endorse their product or service in return for a percentage of sales or at a fixed rate.
Brands may reach out directly or through the TikTok Marketplace. The TikTok Marketplace is a feature you may turn on in your settings and requires nearly no work on your end.
Once the feature is turned on, brands will be able to see your account and see what your rates are. Their proposals will end up in your “TikTok Marketplace” tab in the activity feed, where you can either accept, re-negotiate, or decline the proposed offer.
Brands may also reach out to you directly via email or direct message asking for a sponsored post. A perk of using TikTok Marketplace is the added payment protection, so always be careful and aware of who you could be doing business with. As with anything, you must always do your research!
This is going to be really cool. Shopify is going to make a hub where TikTok accounts, brands, and marketers can find each other. This might be a powerful monetization tool.
The final scoop on TikTok
While I hope this guide gave you some fundamental knowledge and methodology on working through TikTok, do not let this be your end all be all. TikTok is a platform that thrives on creativity and innovation. Always keep an open mind to trying new things, and continue to find ways to improve your strategy. Best of luck!
Frequently asked questions about making money on TikTok
Yes, TikTok requires you to be 18 to sign up for certain features.
The Creator Fund is not yet available to Canadians. Also, TikTok does pay significantly less per view than other platforms such as Youtube. However, the differentiating factor is that you can accumulate views much easier on TikTok than Youtube, so it can even out in that sense.
Take a look at your competition and see what they are doing. Perhaps they are partnered with a brand looking to bring business to more influencers or perhaps your competitor is using an affiliate link that is also applicable to you.
Experiment. There is no “one size fits all” strategy to go viral. Be creative, try new things, and eventually, with proper patience and persistent posting, you will get your desired views.
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About The Author: Sam Hollans
Sam is a social media entrepreneur of 8 years who has a strong passion for the ever changing world of digital marketing. He is a growth strategist and social media influencer on Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok. He is currently studying at Indiana University, Bloomington, pursuing a BA in Media Advertising.
More posts by Sam Hollans